Monday, July 8, 2013

The Cannibal town

NOTE: I don't speak Japanese. I'm translating with a chart of Japanese characters and Google Translate. If I make a mistake (and I'm sure I will), please please PLEASE correct me! I'll edit this with whatever changes are necessary to make it accurate.
Thank you to the anonymous Japanese speaker who commented with some translating help!

With the popularity of Aika village, aka "The Horror Village", many more players have been turning their Animal Crossing: New Leaf towns into live-action creepypastas. I've visited quite a few myself. Most are unfinished, some are uninteresting, and at least one seems to be trying to make a sequel to Aika itself. But there's one that I found fascinating, richly detailed, and chilling: the cannibal town.


The town's name is Hitokui, which Google translates as "non-specific", but I guess literally means Cannibalism (thanks for the translation, leofrida!)

The town itself is quite beautiful: lots of flowers and shrubs and bamboo. It's raining and probably early morning, so it's rather peaceful. It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?


 The outside of this house reminds me quite a bit of a temple or shrine, which is fitting when you go inside.


King K.K. is playing in this room, and it sounds really ominous with the testing tone from the TV.


This is Sawai. What she's saying seems to translate to something like "The cook is behind you. Who are you?" (when that popped up in the translator, bricks were shat I was rather surprised)
(I guess it can also translate as simply "Who is that behind you?", but both seem to work in context, so I'm keeping the old translation as well.)

On an interesting note: I'm not sure whether this was intended or not, but this character reminds me a lot of Kuchisake-onna


In the room to the left is a Japanese-styled funeral. That picture is a little creepy...


The symbol on those lanterns is a recurring one, and one of the many,many patterns made for this town. Unlike the other horror towns I've been to, you can actually get the patterns from Wendell! They're really well done.


This room seems to be a kind of shrine. You can't see it in the photo, but in front of the sword is a basket of persimmons and a broken pot- offerings of some kind. The walls are plastered with paper talismans... not a good sign.



The room to the right is another shrine. There aren't quite as many talismans in this room, but the song K.K. Folk gives it a sort of ritual/festival feel.


Upstairs is a collection of wardrobes turned into Buddhist altars for dead relatives. I have no idea what the sewing machine or spinning wheel are doing up here, but the framed certificates lined up on the wall are reminiscent of the framed photos lining the walls of the room where such altars are kept in old Japanese houses.


The third shrine. I kept expecting a hand to come out of the well...


This is a bit off-topic, but I saw Coco just over the horizon, and had a little heart attack. I love her to death, but in this context her face is just plain freaky.


Yes, that is blood on the path up there. The grates don't bode well either...



Now, this room is very weird. K.K. Waltz is playing and with that song, the colors, and the nurses outfit it reminds me of the more bizarre Japanese horror films, like the works of Takashi Miike or Sion Sono.



Apparently this place is a hospital. There's really not much to say about this room, though.



And here we have the laboratory. For some reason, Pondering is playing in the background. I've never really liked that particular K.K. song, but in this environment it really sets me on edge. And yes, that is a blood bag by the hamster cage (you can get the pattern, so I'm guessing she put it on a white cushion).  It's the details like this that really make this town come alive!


I'll be honest, I have no idea what this room is. Test subject storage?





I guess you can't have an Animal Crossing horror town without Hypno K.K. This room carries some of the imagery from Aika village, but is unique enough that I really didn't notice most of it at first. Seems like someone (a child, probably) was kept here until the end of their short life...


Again, I have no idea what's going on... but K.K. Lullaby is always pretty.


This guy (Zoru? I feel like I'm failing badly with my translation attempts) seems to be a doctor. His message is "I won't let you go."


This is Kozu. She's saying either "My back hurts" or "Does your back hurt?". I have no idea what this has to do with a cannibal town, though. Is it an idiom of some kind? Am I missing something? Let me know!


The next house seems to be a church of some kind. K.K. Chorale gives it that feeling, and they seem to be using a bird bath in place of a baptismal font.... odd, but kind of a cool detail.


To the left is the living quarters of whatever kind of clergy this place has. I was curious as to what wall and floor this room has, but the Prima guide doesn't list either. If someone knows what it's called, tell me!


The back room is the graveyard/mausoleum. The way that statue is placed beneath the stained glass window reminds me a bit of the first level of the game Sanitarium.


At first this room confused me a bit, but then my Catholic upbringing kicked in: it's a confessional!


And upstairs, we have.... I really don't know what. It looks like the dead bird's blood was used in that painting, but is it art? A ritual?




It's almost impossible to see in these photos, and I didn't notice it till my 2nd or 3rd visit, but that's blood on the broken vent. It looks rather like something broke out...


This guy is Edogein-- a play on Ed Gein is my guess. It's kind of awesome, but it strikes me as a little odd that a random Japanese person would know who Ed Gein is. I guess I might be underestimating his fame... and this guy's message is "Would you like some delicious meat dish?" Hell no! Um... I'll pass..... *backs away slowly*


The last house is a restaurant, and one to make any Animal Crossing player jealous. K.K. Bossa sets the mood.


Off to the side is a private dining area set up for fruit fondue.


In the back is an industrial kitchen all decked out. (I really want this kitchen!)


A bathroom is off to the right. Anyone have any idea what that picture is supposed to be?


Upstairs is the owner's apartment. The mess and K.K. Metal on the radio kind of gives you an idea of this guy's character.




 ... and this is where the other shoe drops. I have to admit, I literally felt a little nauseous when I first saw this. And I will never, EVER hear K.K. Parade the same way again.


Oh, and there's this. (and that happy image in the background is the town flag)

All in all, I think Hitokui is better than Aika. It's very atmospheric in a way photos just can't explain, so check it out for yourself!
Dream code: 2600-1856-4772

I'm finishing this at midnight, so please forgive any weirdness.

EDIT: HatboxGhost on Animal Crossing Community pointed out a few things that I missed, so took a few more screenshots.


It's very hard to see, but by the table here in the lab is a crime against humanity cushion that seems to be made out of flesh-- you can see three eyes and a mouth.


And it looks like the graveyard has its very own elderitch abomination!

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for this blog post! It was very informative and well-done. There's not enough Hitokui information out there. I reached some of the same conclusions on my own when I visited a few days ago, but I don't know enough about Japanese culture to pick up on the references in the shrine house. I had no idea about the Kuchisake-onna reference, but I totally see it now... And "Edogein", wow, that's so clever and creepy!

    Hitokui (the word actually means "cannibalism"! eek) scared me a bit more than Aika (although Hitokui is not as cohesive or complete of an experience) because in Aika I got the feeling of "something bad happened here, let's look at the aftermath" whereas in Hitokui, it's more like "something bad is happening here NOW and you'd better get out before you become the next victim."

    I had the idea as I explored that each house was a nice-looking place that was a "front" for evil activity, becuase the main rooms all look pretty much normal and lovely but the other rooms start to tell quite another story.

    As I explored, my ideas about the houses were:
    1. A shrine that is a front for demon worship. Not sure about this one, because I don't know a whole lot about Japanese culture.
    2. A church that is a front for human sacrifice (and the dead bird/cow skull upstairs reminds me of an augury, like using the remains of sacrificed animals to tell the future).
    3. A hospital that is a front for human medical experiments, performed on children. Again, not sure about this here because the basement and the upstairs room are not so hospital-like...
    4. A restaurant that is, of course, a front for cannibalism. And OMG, is that basement a kick in the face, even when you know it's coming... Like you said, K.K. Parade is ruined forever!

    One bit of symbolism that still escapes me is the clothes which you are encouraged to wear at the beginning when you wake up-- either a bridal outfit or police-ish outfit. I wore the bridal outfit throughout my visit, as I/my character is female, and it made me feel like I was meant to be a potential sacrifice or something, but who knows. And maybe the police outfit is like you are the investigator of what is happening here.

    The church and hospital made me think of the Silent Hill games - although perhaps that'd be too obvious of a reference to be what was intended - in which a young girl was sacrificed by the members of an evil religious cult. The child's bedroom in the hospital upstairs, in particular, made me think of this.

    (Also, my reaction to Coco in this town was the exact same. Yikes...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too long, dude!

      Delete
    2. I agree scarier than aika in a sense I didn't get the doll cliché and with all the Japanese didn't understand anything except "doll kills people" this however I picked up on each bit and I found the experience made more sense visiting the hospital and human experimentation area then restaurant house, then church, then sawai's that way it sorta tells a story the people in the hospital are held there almost like prisoners waiting to be passed off to the chef or experiment room, the church i'm not entirely sure about but get the feeling it plays some role, and the girl sawai is already a ghost they're mourning her... or that's what I got from exploring it that way

      Delete
  2. Hello, Japanese speaker here and thought I'd help you out.

    あなたのうしろにいるのはだれ >> あなたの後ろにいるのは誰 >> Who is that behind you?

    にがさない >> 逃がさない >> I won't let you go.

    せなかがいたいの >> 背中が痛いの >> My back hurts, or if it is supposed to be posed as a question, Does your back hurt? (the subject is left out)

    おいしいにくりょうりはいかが? >> 美味しい肉料理はいかが? >> Would you like some delicious meat dish?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much for the help! I'll fix the translations ASAP.

    ReplyDelete
  4. About the "my back hurts" thing; if you look at her from behind you can see a slash wound. Just a thing I noticed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't notice that. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Delete
  5. The top floor of the hospital house was different when I visited the town. If you're on Animal Crossing Community, I'll show you the screenshots once I get them on my computer. I'm PikaGal444 if you want to PT me for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'll message you ASAP.

      Delete
    2. yeah by the time I got here it doesn't look like aika it looks like it might be the work of executioners -shivers- or prehalps a really messed up operating room in reality the hospital reminds me of several Sci-Fi's including unwind....

      Delete
  6. To me, it seems that there are four different stories in this town. A shrine that is plagued by evil spirits. A doctor who's sanity left him after his wife was killed, and his daughter was mortally wounded, in an accident that left him disfigured. A nun that was killed by someone, or someTHING, in the basement of the chapel she lived in. And the last one spells itself out pretty clearly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought about it like that. That does work better than trying to tie them completely together. Awesome ideas!

      Delete
  7. On my visit to Hitokui, the basement with the butcher's in, next to the butchering tables on the left side, there's been what must be a pillow added with the horrifying texture of a gutted, dismembered torso. Not sure it's worth a whole new screenshot just for that, but still interesting nevertheless.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cool! I should check it out (haven't been there in a while).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh man, this town was awesomely horrifying. The atmosphere seemed so different from what I'm used to on animal crossing. Thank you so much for finding it.

    So you happen to have any others that stick out to you?

    ReplyDelete
  10. There's a reason why she says "My back hurts." Or "Does your back hurt?" If you look closely at her character from behind, there is a bloody gash in her back.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The first thing I read on one of the Tanabata wish trees in the shrine was a strip of paper with the wish to be the best chef... cue me running from the room. xD

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think the bride's role in the story was to provide sacrifices, assuming every house is connected. The red room in the hospital (which has been altered since your post but kept the basic idea) is implied to have belonged to a child, and there are cribs in the butcher's room and the hospital basement.

    Maybe the bride was slowly going insane as a result of having to bear children that were doomed to die brutally, which is why she's kept under surveillance in a the hospital basement (swing your viewpoint around in that room: there's a security camera above the doorway) and why her face is that of a wolf.

    I think that the player's role as a bride might actually be as the ghost of whoever was in the hospital basement. Unlike the police officer, she isn't given an umbrella or even any shoes (in contrast, the mannequin in the basement has socks and shoes). It could be that one of the rooms in the shrine represents a funeral dedicated to her.

    Then again, given how the guillotine was lying right out in the open like that, maybe the player bride is just a replacement for the dead/missing one, and whoever brought her to the town isn't even bothering to hide the situation from her. I'm not sure if the hammer belongs to her or to the officer: It would make sense if the officer was using the hammer in case the situation got violent, but I could also see the bride taking it for the sake of self-defense -- or for the sake of murder.

    Some of the villagers are kind of interesting to look at. I don't know how much is intentional and how much is a coincidence, but as of this writing:

    * Cherry, who lives near the hospital, is wearing a bloody shirt. Cherry is one of the hit-or-miss characters that some people have a hatred for due to her appearance.

    * Alli, who lives near the shine, is covered in talismans. I don't know what her original room house is like, but in this town it's almost totally bare, save for a table and a few critters.

    * Diva is also covered in talismans. She's perhaps the most despised villager in ACNL; I've only seen two people who had her and didn't hate her. Her creepy face does fit in with the town.

    * You've already covered Coco as being creepy in this context. On that note, I found a few Gyroids buried around town (two in the top-left corner of the map, two near the lighthouse). I'm not sure if that means anything, though.

    * Cobb is wearing the same outfit as Zoru. A blood doctor's shirt? Cobb's been noted to have a mad scientist theme in his house, and it's not uncommon for someone to call him creepy. He seems right at home in this town. He didn't want to go into his house when I visited, unfortunately, so I couldn't see how it's changed.

    * And then there's Lucky. He's also wearing the bloody shirt, and with his bandages he's like a doggy version of Zoru. Of all the villagers, this is the one I think the town creator most likely went out of their way to get into the town, becuase he fits in even better than Cobb.

    Overall, it's a pretty creepy town, especially when you're exploring the restaurant and leave the happy little basement for last. Thank you for sharing your adventure through it with everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Something interesting to note: it seems that the time is set up 5 minutes until 4 AM. The music is the calm 3 AM music. So you have you enough time to explore a house, let it set it in, and then when you step outside, the unsettling 4 AM music starts playing, to with the shift in moods that you experienced in the house.

    ReplyDelete
  14. can someone please enter the dreamcode? :((

    ReplyDelete
  15. Another thing that is left out is that if you go down from the plaza, you'll find a fenced in area with flowers. There are digging spots there. Dig them up...and you'll find a very creepy surprise.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm awfully lazy right now but the girl who says that her back hurts has a large bloody gash on her back when she turns around. I'm sure someone already mentioned this.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I didn't notice anyone answering your question about the wallpaper and carpet in the one room in the "church" thing, but they are actually "prank" items you get when you fail a game or give candy to villagers disguising themselves as jack on Halloween. They're pretty easy to get, and I kept them for a long time before I sold them off, so thats probably why I remember.

    Your review was amazing! Thanks for playing and postingg all this so I could find it easier!

    ReplyDelete
  18. i havnt been here but just a random comment from me is that kk parade has always sorta creeped me out.. im trying to make one of these creepy towns too but its terribel so far,,,

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very well done! I checked it out myself, and well... It scared me a bit. I think this town and Aika are about the same! If you read what everything in Aika really means, it gets wayyyy better. I've read it and just to clarify, the doll doesn't kill people, but the girl talks to doll because she has schizophrenia. There's so much more to it than most people know. Anyways, again great review and thanks for pointing out details I would've missed xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Late reply xD

      Aika is not confirmed to be about a girl with schizophrenia, it's creator said it's for people to interpret by themselves. It's just as likely the girl has schizophrenia that the doll goes around murdering people.

      Delete
  20. I feel like the bride's dress you can pick up when first entering the village has something to do with the church-like building with the altar and confession room.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I didn't see any comments about this, trying to find some answers. but there's some sort of present on the little cliff edge of the beach. Anyone find out what is in that present?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fortune #4. Not all that special, except 4 might be referencing "death."

      Delete
  22. Dream code!? Seriously,you make a blog about a horror town and you don't even ...god.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 4 available towns down, 3 to go...
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete